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ANTI-FENCING LAW OF 1979 (PD DEFINITION

NO. 1612)

Fencing as defined in Sec. 2 of PD No. 1612 (Anti-Fencing Law) is “the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy, receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows or should be known to him, or to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. (Dizon-Pamintuan vs. People, GR 111426, 11 July 94). BRIEF HISTORY OF PD 1612 OR THE ANTI-FENCING LAW Presidential Decree No. 1612 or commonly known as the Anti-Fencing Law of 1979 was enacted under the authority of therein President Ferdinand Marcos. The law took effect on March 2, 1979. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Anti-Fencing Law were subsequently formulated and it took effect on June 15, 1979. THE PURPOSE OF ENACTING PD 1612 The Anti-Fencing Law was made to curtail and put an end to the rampant robbery of government and private properties. With the existence of “ready buyers”, the “business” of robbing and stealing have become profitable. Hence, a law was enacted to also punish those who buy stolen properties. For if there are no buyers then the malefactors could not profit from their wrong doings. WHAT IS FENCING LAW AND HOW IT CAN BE COMMITTED “Fencing” is the act of any person who, with intent to gain for himself or for another, shall buy receive, possess, keep, acquire, conceal, sell or dispose of, or shall buy and sell, or in any other manner deal in any article, item, object or anything of value which he knows, or should be known to him, to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. A “Fence” includes any person, firm, association corporation or partnership or other organization who/ which commits the act of fencing. WHO ARE LIABLE FOR THE CRIME OF FENCING; AND ITS PENALTIES: The person liable is the one buying, keeping, concealing and selling the stolen items. If the fence is a corporation, partnership, association or firm, the one liable is the president or the manager or the officer who knows or should have know the fact that the offense was committed. The law provide for penalty range for persons convicted of the crime of fencing. Their penalty depends on the value of the goods or items stolen or bought:

A. The penalty of prision mayor, if the value of the property involved is more than 12,000 pesos but not
exceeding 22,000 pesos; if the value of such property exceeds the latter sum, the penalty provided in this paragraph shall be imposed in its maximum period, adding one year for each additional 10,000 pesos; but the total penalty which may be imposed shall not exceed twenty years. In such cases, the penalty shall be termed reclusion temporal and the accessory penalty pertaining thereto provided in the Revised Penal Code shall also be imposed.

B. The penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods, if the value of the property robbed or
stolen is more than 6,000 pesos but not exceeding 12, 000 pesos;

C. The penalty of prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods, if the value of the property involved
is more than 200 pesos but not exceeding 6,000 pesos;

to give effect to the purpose of the law in putting an end to buying and selling stolen items. items. No fee will be charged for the issuance of the clearance/permit. manager or responsible officer in having in stock used secondhand articles. • “Buy and Sell” refer to the transaction whereby one purchases used secondhand articles for the purpose of resale to third persons. name. The Station Commander may. if the value of the property involved is over 50 but not exceeding 200 pesos. F. b. E. “establishment” or “entity” shall be construed to include any individual dealing in the buying and selling used secondhand articles. to submit an initial affidavit within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice for the purpose thereof and subsequent affidavits once every fifteen (15) days within five (5) days after the period covered. • “Station Commander” shall refer to the Station Commander of the Integrated National Police within the territorial limits of the town or city district where the store. association or any other entity or establishment not licensed by the government to engage in the business of dealing in or of supplying the articles defined in the preceding paragraph. Full list of articles to be sold or offered for sale including the time and place of sale c. • “Store”. corporation. The Station Commander shall require the owner of a store or the President. 2. establishment or entity dealing in the buying and selling of used secondhand PROCEDURE FOR SECURING PERMIT/CLEARANCE The Implementing Rules provided for the method of obtaining clearance or permit. RULES REGARDING BUY AND SELL OF GOODS PARTICULARLY SECOND HAND GOODS The law requires the establishment engaged in the buy and sell of goods to obtain a clearance or permit to sell “used second hand items”. shall file an application with the Station Commander concerned. partnership. • “Unlicensed dealer/supplier” shall refer to any persons. The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period if such value is over five (5) pesos but not exceeding 50 pesos. address and other pertinent circumstances . as defined in paragraph hereof. firm. which shall contain: a. It provided for the definition of the following terms: • “Used secondhand article” shall refer to any goods. Failure of which makes the owner or manager liable as a fence. Those who wish to secure the permit/clearance. that may result to the cancellation of business license. Failure to secure clearance/permit shall be punished as a fence. 1. The penalty of arresto mayor in its minimum period if such value does not exceed 5 pesos. Place where the articles are presently deposited. which states: a. The Implementing Rules provides for the guidelines of issuance of clearances or permits to sell used or secondhand items. regardless of whether the same has actually or in fact been used. article. The penalty of arresto mayor in its medium period to prision correccional in its minimum period.D. object or anything of value obtained from an unlicensed dealer or supplier. require the submission of an affidavit accompanied by other documents showing proof of legitimacy of acquisition. complete inventory of such articles including the names and addresses from whom the articles were acquired.

upon expiration of the period of publication or of the notice. it shall appear that any of the articles in question is stolen property. 8. establishment or other entity seeking the clearance/permit. within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of the application. to show satisfactory proof of the legitimacy of acquisition of the article. c. object or anything fo value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery. if the Station Commander is not satisfied with the proof of legitimacy of acquisition. within 15 days. at the expense of the one seeking clearance/permit. If after 15 days. whose decision may be appealed with the Minister (now Secretary) of National Defense. stating: • articles acquired from unlicensed dealer or supplier • • the names and addresses of the persons from whom they were acquired that such articles are to be sold or offered for sale to the public at the address of the store.b. If there are no newspapers in general circulation. The Station Commander shall. 3. rules and regulations. subject to the following conditions: a. the Station Commander shall issue the clearance or permit sought. article to be sold or offered for sale to the public and the name and address of the unlicensed dealer or supplier from whom such article was acquired. where the articles in his possession are to be sold or offered for sale. in a newspaper of general circulation for two consecutive days. act thereon by either issuing the clearance/permit requested or denying the same. if necessary. 4. the Station Commander shall hold the article in restraint as evidence in any appropriate case to be filed. The Station Commander shall examine the documents attached to the application and may require the presentation of other additional documents. . establishment or entity is located or. Include the receipt or document showing proof of legitimacy of acquisition. 6. Articles held in restraint shall kept and disposed of as the circumstances of each case permit. which decision is final. If before expiration of the same period for the publication of the notice or its posting. Denial of an application shall be in writing and shall state in brief the reason/s thereof. ELEMENTS A crime of robbery or theft has been committed. 7. the party seeking the clearance/permit shall. 5. he shall cause the publication of the notice. Any party not satisfied with the decision of the Station Commander may appeal the same within 10 days to the proper INP (now PNP) District Superintendent and further to the INP (now PNP) Director. In any case it shall be the duty of the Station Commander concerned to advise/notify the Commission on Audit of the case and comply with such procedure as may be proper under applicable existing laws. shall be prima facie evidence of fencing. item. article. PRESUMPTION Mere possession of any good. post a notice daily for one week on the bulletin board of the municipal building of the town where the store. The decision of the Director can still be appealed top the Director-General. no claim is made to any of the articles enumerated in the notice. in the case of an individual. firm. within 10 days.

. Lucero was charged with violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. may or may not be the same person committing the crime of fencing. The accused knows or should have known that the said article.’’ The Court in convicting Ernesto Dunlao Sr. conceals.000. The store is engaged in buying and selling of second hand merchandise located at Pasay Road. Makati. intent to gain for himself or for another. the crime of robbery or theft should have been committed before crime of fencing can be committed. vs. Cebu City. and this should have apprised Norma of the possibility that they were stolen goods. receiving. possessing. Muere (G. selling or disposing or in any manner deals with stolen items. stated that it was impossible for her to know that the jewelry were stolen because of the fact that Crisilita was willing to part with a considerable number of jewelry at measly sum. The snatchers sold the items to Manuel Lucero. or in any manner deals in any article. had knowledge of the fact that the stereo was stolen. no eyewitness pointed to Lucero as the perpetrator and the evidence of the prosecution was not strong enough to convict him. would let go of such opportunities for a clean profit at the expense of innocent owners. 10/18/94). .12902. acquires. The said stereo was bought from Wynn’s Audio. acquiring. This requires more than ordinary case and caution in dealing with customers. buys. quantities of phelonic plywood were stolen and the Court held that qualified theft had been committed. who is not a principal or accomplice in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft. . the court in convicting Norma Adriatico. This case involves the selling of alleged stolen Kenwood Stereo Unit in the store Danvir Trading. keeps. It is thus illustrated in the case of Lim vs. noted that the stolen articles composed of farrowing crates and G. 08/22/96) In the case of People v. sells.. Court of Appeals.The accused. Inc. and 1. or buys and sells. much more. pipes were found displayed on petitioner’s shelves inside his compound. GR 111426. Consunji. buying the other articles. The person committing the crime of robbery or theft. buying. There is. an existing establishment. in this case. 11 July 94) As regards the first element. In People vs. where she lost a Chinese Gold Necklace and pendant worth some P4.(Dizon- Pamintuan vs People. CA. The second element speaks of the overt act of keeping.00. Adriatico. which has been derived from the proceeds of the said crime. owned by the spouses Muere. As pointed out in the case of People vs. or disposes. receives. The accused known or should have known that the goods were stolen. where the bag of Mrs. As noted by the trial court: “.000. The spouses Muere purchased the stereo from a known . Lucero there was first a snatching incident. Sr.R.00 to snatchers Manuel Elardo and Zacarias Pateras. v. Juanito Lim stored and kept in his bodega and subsequently bought or disposed of the nine (9) pieces of stolen tires with rims owned by Loui Anton Bond. As in the case ofD. object or anything of value. which business is very well exposed to the practice of fencing. possess. The court also considered the fact that Norma engage in the business of buying and selling gold and silver. Esguerra. The court held that there is no proof that the spouses Muere. and Norma having bought it from Crisilita for only P2. or object or anything of value has been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. The approximate total value of the jewelry were held to be at P20. on the part of the accused.I. However. Human experience belies her allegations as no businessman or woman at that.M. Consequently. the third element was not proven. where the accused. the Court is not inclined to accept the accused’s theory of buying in good faith and disclaimer of ever seeing.700. item. Maripaz Bernard Ramolete was snatch in the public market of Carbon. (Dunalao. concealing. item.

thus they had no reason to suspect that the said items were products of theft. object or anything of value which he knows. Inc. Intent to gain is a mental state. with intent to gain for himself or for another. receive. as the keeping of stolen items for subsequent selling. It is the act itself which constitutes the offense and not the motive or intent.M. or shall be known to him.(Consunji v. the third element did not exist in the case of D. CA) again. The rule on the subject is that in acts mala prohibita. as cited in US v. the only inquiry is that. GR 77368). However. People.M. has the law been violated? (in Gatdner v. (Dunlao v. or shall buy and sell. sell or dispose of. 14 Phils. (People v De Guzman. intent to gain need not be proven in crimes punishable by a special law such as the Anti-Fencing Law. The last element is that there is intent to gain for himself or for another. The crimes punishable by special laws are called “acts mala prohibita“. or using force upon anything. item. owned respectively by Eduardo Ching and the spouses Sy. fencing is the act of any person who. 07/30/96) where the subject of the court action are the alleged stolen phelonic plywood owned by D. A FENCE MAY BE PROSECUTED UNDER THE RPC OR PD 1612 The state may thus choose to prosecute him either under the RPC or PD NO. The mental state is presumed from the commission of an unlawful act. with intent to gain. possess. 134) When the act is prohibited by law. intent to gain is a mental state. Inc. Consunji. to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. and PD No. later found to be in the premises of MC Industrial Sales and Seato trading Company. 5 of PD NO. Consunji. Neither is the crime of robbery or theft made to depend on an act of fencing in order that it can be consummated. 1612 creates a presumption of fencing and prescribes a higher penalty based on the value of the property. conceal. dolo or deceit is immaterial in crimes punishable by special statute like the Anti-Fencing Law. Respondents presented sales receipts covering their purchase of the items from Paramount Industrial. On the other hand. Go Chico. Likewise.merchant and the unit is displayed for sale in their store. intent is immaterial. or in any other manner deal in any article. (supra) MERE POSSESSION OF STOLEN ARTICLE PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE OF FENCING Since Sec. acquire. item. the existence of which is demonstrated by the overt acts of person. article. shall buy. Esguerra. DISTINCTION BETWEEN FENCING AND ROBBERY The law on fencing does not require the accused to have participation in the criminal design to commit or to have been in any wise involved in the commission of the crime of robbery or theft.. These actions are not indicative of a conduct of a guilty person. keep. Robbery is the taking of personal property belonging to another. the existence if which is demonstrated by the overt acts of the person. 1612 expressly provides that “mere possession of any good. . which is a known hardware store in Caloocan. The presumption does not offend the presumption of innocence enshrined in the fundamental law. object or anything of value which has been the subject of robbery or thievery shall be prima facie evidence of fencing” it follows that the accused is presumed to have knowledge of the fact that the items found in her possession were the proceeds of robbery or theft. On the same vein. by means of violence against or intimidation of any person. FENCING AS A CRIME INVOLVING MORAL TURPITUDE. 1612 although the preference for the latter would seem inevitable considering that fencing is amalum prohibitum.

(Dela Torre v. GR 128369. 40 Disqualifications – (a) Those sentenced by final judgement for an offense involving moral turpitude…” Dela Torre was disqualified because of his prior conviction of the crime of fencing wherein he admitted all the elements of the crime of fencing. as mere possession thereof is enough to give rise to a presumption of fencing. GR 128369. Laguna in the last May 8. and the other as the fence. 1995 elections because of the fact of the disqualification under Sec. (Caoili v. Section 2 thereof requires that the offender buys or otherwise acquires and then sells or disposes of any object of value which he knows or should he known to him to have been derived from the proceeds of the crime of robbery or theft. 2 OR ANTI-FENCING PD 1612. 40 of the Local Government Code. This signifies moral turpitude with moral unfitness. Participation of each felon. 12/22/97) . differs in point in time and degree but both invaded one’s peaceful dominion for gain. he was declared disqualified from running the position of Mayor in Cavinti. In the case of Dela Torre. CA.In violation of the Anti-Fencing Law. COMELEC 07/05/96) Moral turpitude can be derived from the third element – accused knows or should have known that the items were stolen. (Caoili v CA. (Supra) Both crimes negated the principle of each person’s duty to his fellowmen not to appropriate things that they do not own or return something acquired by mistake or with malice. one being the robber or the thief or the actual perpetrators. 12/22/97) PROOF OF PURCHASE WHEN GOODS ARE IN POSSESSION OF OFFENDER NOT NECESSARY IN ANTIFENCING The law does not require proof of purchase of the stolen articles by petitioner. SEC. actual knowledge by the “fence” of the fact that property received is stolen displays the same degree of malicious deprivation of one’s rightful property as that which animated the robbery or theft which by their very nature are crimes of moral turpitude. of persons running for elective position -”Sec. It was incumbent upon petitioner to overthrow this presumption by sufficient and convincing evidence. ESSENCE OF VIOLATION OF PD 1612.